Posted on 6/17/2024

A Guide to Fishing and Crabbing on Chincoteague

Nestled along Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Chincoteague Island is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking tranquil waters and bountiful seafood. If you’re an angler or crabber looking for your next adventure, you’re in luck! Let’s explore some of the best spots to fish and crab around our favorite little island.

Fishing Hotspots
  • Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge: Surf fishing can be the most challenging, but also the most rewarding experience if you’re looking to fish on Chincoteague. You’ll need a Virginia Saltwater License to fish on the beach, and an After Hours Fishing Permit from the Visitors Center if you want to try your luck at night time fishing. OSV Passes are available for purchase here and can be picked up at the Tom's Cove Visitor Center upon arrival!

  • Veteran’s Memorial Park: Memorial Park provides a serene backdrop overlooking Assateague. Free Parking, picnic areas (including community grills), basketball courts, tennis courts, and a playground make this park an excellent choice for spending the day.

  • Queen Sound: A popular spot for Croaker and shark, the Queen Sound Bridge has been visited by visitors and locals alike for decades. You’ll want to grab a lawn chair when fishing here, but trust us, it’s worth it!

  • Robert Reed Downtown Waterfront Park: The recreational fishing pier at Robert Reed Park is a great location if you’re looking for a peaceful angling experience. This 154’ long wooden pier is located where the old drawbridge used to be located, overlooking Marsh Island!

Crabbing Hotspots
  • Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge: The wildlife refuge is a popular area for crabbing in designated areas of Swan Cove, as well as along Beach Road. Please remember to observe state limits on size and quantity (Each person is allowed one bushel per day).

  • Veteran’s Memorial Park: Memorial Park isn’t just a great location for fishing. It’s also perfect for crabbing! No license is required to crab at the park as the Town of Chincoteague purchases a fishing license that covers all visitors each year! The walk from the parking lot to the pier is very short, making it ideal for carrying your equipment.

  • Maddox Blvd: Just before you reach the bridge to Assateague, you’ll notice docks on either side of the road. These areas are designated fishing/crabbing areas, with the most convenient parking being at McDonalds. Measure your crabs at the signs in the area to be sure you’re meeting regulations!

Tips for a successful outing:

  • Check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before fishing or crabbing
  • Pack plenty of sunscreen, water, and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout the day
  • Be mindful of wildlife and adhere to "Leave No Trace" principles to help us preserve the area's fragile ecosystem.
  • Consider booking a fishing charter if you're looking to get out on the open water!
  • Relax, enjoy the scenery, and don't forget the reason you're here is to spend time with your loved ones!

Chincoteague Island offers a wealth of opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of Virginia’s coastal waters. Grab your fishing rod, bait your crab traps, and make your way to Chincoteague for an unforgettable adventure along the shores of this enchanting island.

Happy fishing and crabbing!

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